Amigo Spotlight – Paul Wojtuszewski
“My path to Hope Builders is really a series of events, experiences and guidance presented and given to me over my life at this point,” shares Amigo Paul Wojtuszewski.
Growing up in upstate New York, Paul attended Syracuse University where he received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. His career in the chemical and electronics industries included various positions leading technical service, business teams and operations and enabled him to travel the world.
Growing up, he and his family attended Catholic Mass on Sundays – although, he jokes they’d always search for the shortest mass and read the bulletin more than the bible. In retrospect, clearly values such as giving and helping others were being instilled that he and his wife, Renita, and three children continue to live by.
Many years later after moving to California, he served on a jury for a local gang trial in Santa Ana. He was deeply impacted by this experience and what he realized was that the accused, a 15-year-old boy at the time, never really had a chance at a better life considering the poverty, crime and lack of resources that plagued his community.
A year or two later a representative from Hope Builders spoke at his church about its programs and the impact they were making in the lives of disconnected youth in Orange County. He saw that Hope Builders offered a path for a better future—through job training, life skills training and ongoing mentorship— for young adults like the young man he saw on trial. He tucked their flier away knowing that he wanted to get more involved when he wasn’t so entrenched with work.
After retiring in 2019, he knew he wanted to give back in a meaningful way. After contemplating questions raised in a series of sermons, along with some inspiration and revelation, he knew what he needed to do.
“It became seared in my brain that I was to start a charitable giving foundation with a theme to help people who never got a decent first chance in life. “
Thus, in 2021 he established The Wojtuszewski Foundation. He still had the flyer he received at church and Hope Builders was the Foundation’s first recipient.
In addition to his generous support of the Amigo Scholarship program, Paul also gives generously of his time to assist with our Virtual Mock Interviews that help Hope Builders’ young adults practice their interviewing skills and build confidence in their job search. Earlier this month, Paul and Renita graciously participated in our Connect Over Coffee event to provide a fun opportunity for our Medical Assisting trainees to hone their skills by participating in a speed networking event.
“I really believe in how Hope builders is addressing this problem – educating people and developing untapped resources. I love how it aligns the stakeholders of businesses, community, and people/students. The cost of education may be high, but the cost of not getting an education is far greater.”
We cannot thank you enough, Paul, Renita and family, for all you do to help build a pathway to prosperity for Hope Builders’ young adults each year – you are truly making a difference!